A quick question for everyone: what does Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazeby, Christopher Cazenove, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have in common? They all portrayed the iconic spy James Bond. This year, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first Bond film, which was Dr. No (1962), the Barbican Centre has opened up an exhibition to honour the imagination and the skills of the filmmakers and designers of 007’s universe. The exhibition is split into 3 areas: Iconic Bond, Villains & Enigmas and the Ice Palace. There is also 007’s Martini Bar for those who want their drinks shaken not stirred. 

Section 1 is filled with 6 subsections: Gold, Ian Fleming, M’s Office, Q Branch, Casino and Foreign Territories. It’s interesting to see the process of designing a Bond film. The areas on Ian Flaming and Casino caught our attention immediately. What surprised us more was how quick it took Flaming to write each book. He completed each Bond novel in eight weeks! Casino, on the other hand, was glamorous. It was overtaken by superb designer dresses and suave tuxedos, making us imagine ourselves in a James Bond film. Obviously Maggie with Sean Connery and Roxy with whoever is left on the plate!

Section 2 was called Villains and Enigmas. According to Barbican ” (…) James Bond villains have changed through time (…)” Looking back at all the films you will notice their schemes and influences have matured over time. There’ll always be  “villains and femme fatales to contend with, allowing Bond to hopefully save the day once more”. From Dr No to the latest take on Quantum of Solace, you can admire the costumes and gadgets of the villains, which in our opinion, looked more impressive in reality than on the screen.

The last section was called Ice Palace and it was dedicated to the escapades of James Bond in the snow. From jumping off the cliff to using a cello case as a sledge, it made us think that anything is doable. We would love to have seen the £500,000 stunt of The Spy Who Loved Me  in the Winter Olympics. Bond’s ski jump was produced at a cost of half a million pounds, making it the most expensive stunt of all time.

We found the entire exhibition to be captivating and it’s worthwhile to visit. Bond fan or not you ought to see what the Barbican Centre has to offer. For more details go to their website .

View of the Arts would like to thank the Barbican Centre for allowing us to take pictures.

Exhibition Image Caption: Designing 007: Fifty Years of James Bond Style. Courtesy of Barbican, EON Productions and Metro- Goldwyn- Mayer Studios.

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About View of the Arts

We are both enthusiasts of the arts, passionate about cinema, theatre, and literature. Roxy is a successful Arts Journalist, who writes for several magazines and websites. Maggie is a freelance film producer and an associate producer. We Will Rock the World One Day!

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Art, Film, General

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